Germany’s stuttering friendly form has not shifted their focus away from Euro 2016 glory ahead of their final warm-up match against Hungary.
Joachim Low handed international debuts to Joshua Kimmich, Bernd Leno, Julian Brandt and Julian Weigl in a rain-lashed Augsburg on Sunday, but, despite experienced striker Mario Gomez opening the scoring with a penalty, Slovakia came from behind to record a 3-1 victory.
It was Germany’s third defeat in four friendly outings since the conclusion of Euro 2016 qualifying, following defeats to France and England for the world champions before a resounding 4-1 win over Italy.
They have the chance to improve that record against Bernd Storck’s men in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday and Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller expects his colleagues to be firing on all cylinders once they arrive in France.
“We are extremely motivated and want to come as far in the tournament as possible,” he said.
“We want to go for the title. We have a great spirit so there shouldn’t be any problems with motivation, because the aim is clear.
“We don’t go to France for a vacation – we want to be successful there. We are all players who get uneasy if we don’t win, so we want to avoid that.”
Germany also suffered qualifying defeats against Poland and the Republic of Ireland en route to topping UEFA Group D, but Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira believes Low’s current crop compares well against the squad that conquered the world in Brazil two years ago.
“The quality is still the same compared to 2014,” he said. “Of course we have different characters.
“It’s not a secret that we lost three important players with Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker [through international retirement], but I think we compensated that well.
“The thing will be how we’ll start in the tournament and which mentality we’ll show. I think we won’t have any problems with that. In 2014 it wasn’t luck, but we somehow forced it. That needs to happen this year again.”
Khedira overcame injury woes to secure a place in Low’s final 23 for France, although Germany are now operating without Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus, whose fitness problems mean he will miss Euro the tournament having also looked on for the World Cup.
The match is Hungary’s first outing for more than two weeks following a goalless draw against African champions Ivory Coast.
Poor finishing denied Storck’s side victory and the well-travelled German seems keen to avoid a repeat after naming a full complement of six forwards in his 23-man squad this week.
In their final match before a first major tournament outing since the 1986 World Cup, Hungary could be boosted by the return of veteran midfielder Zoltan Gera.
The 37-year-old withdrew from the recent training camp in Austria to undergo tests after developing flu-like symptoms.